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Somewhere Out There

When two academic rivals are paired up for an intense assignment, they realize that the only thing standing in their way to freedom is each other.

Somewhere Out There

BOOK REPORT for The Possibility of Somewhere by Julia Day

Cover Story: An American Tail
BFF Charm: Let Me Love You
Swoonworthy Scale: 4
Talky Talk: Straight Up...Sorta?
Bonus Factor: Tami Taylor Award for Amazing Motherhood, Diversity
Anti-Bonus Factor: Patty Chase Award for Awful Parenting
Relationship Status: Study Buddies

Cover Story: An American Tail

The title of this book being The Possibility of Somewhere, combined with the two kids looking up at the night sky on the cover, all I can think of when I see this is "Sooooomewhereeeee oooout there, beneath the paaaale moonliiiiiiight." And yes, I'm aware that I'm really showing my age with that reference. ANYWAY, I've got a strong aversion to stock photo covers, but having the main characters in silhouette side steps my biggest problem with stock photos, which is the way they affect how you envision the characters. Plus, the stars are so pretty - it's like the YA version of a Van Gogh painting! I also like the handwritten type treatment. All in all, I'm vibin' it.

The Deal:

Eden Moore is unpopular, sharp-tongued, and dead-set on getting out of her small North Carolina town. There's only one problem: baby girl is dirt poor, and college costs money. She's made it her mission to get the best grades, save all the money she can, and get the Peyton scholarship so that she can go to college. But every possible obstacle seems to get in her way. Obstacle number one: her father, who would prefer she stay home in the trailer park and make money to help her family get by. Obstacle number two: Because Eden needs money, she's had to sacrifice extracurriculars to keep a babysitting job, and everyone knows colleges love extracurriculars. And obstacle number three: Ash Gupta, Eden's academic rival whose perfect grades are just as problematic as his perfect face. When Eden and Ash are paired up for a school project, the two realize that maybe they don't hate each other as much as they once thought, and the resulting relationship becomes Eden's biggest obstacle of all.

BFF Charm: Let Me Love You

Eden is extremely smart and extremely guarded. Let's face it: she's had a tough life, and she has to look out for number one. I can't fault her for it, especially when she lives in the kind of town that won't let her forget who she is and where she comes from. She's also extremely self-conscious about her body and some of the unwanted attention she has received for it. Her hang-ups have made her a little hard to be around over the years, but when new girl Mundy moves to town and insists on sitting with Eden at lunch, Eden finally begins to soften up a little. I liked Eden, despite her hardness. She was tough but kind. She just needs more people in her life to remind her of her worth.

Swoonworthy Scale: 4

Ash Gupta is Eden's super hot academic rival, and the two have circled each other for years. So when they are paired up to do a modern day, dramatic reenactment of the proposal scene from Pride & Prejudice, you know things are about to get good. Except...they never really did. Don't get me wrong, there were a few swoony moments, but the opportunity for enemistry and the build up of swoon were lost early on - and quickly devolved into insta-love. Not only did Ash and Eden's relationship feel melodramatic at times, I felt like I never got a strong grasp on Ash's character, and so he and Eden lacked chemistry. There were also a few too many moments when Ash seemed overly interested in Eden's "hot body" and it made me a little cringy.

Talky Talk: Straight Up...Sorta?

The writing was probably my biggest beef with this book. It's a contemporary romance about two kids from North Carolina, but frequently, I found myself thinking, "Kids don't talk like that." It wasn't a dealbreaker, necessarily, and they were mostly small things, but they did trip me up a bit while I was reading. I think it might've kept me from falling in love with the characters the way I wanted to, because they didn't feel REAL.

Bonus Factor: Tami Taylor Award for Amazing Motherhood

Props to Eden's stepmom, Marnie, for being the beacon of light amidst a handful of crappy parents in this book. She never failed to treat Eden like her own. She stood up for Eden and supported her when no one else would, and Eden loved her more than anything. It was a nice change from the evil stepmother trope we're so used to seeing.

Bonus Factor: Diversity

I enjoyed reading about Kurt, the autistic boy that Eden babysits, and some of the day-to-day joys and struggles of working with someone on the spectrum. In addition to that, it's not often we get a POC romantic lead, so props to Day for her inclusion of Ash and the peek into his life with Indian parents, family and friends. This book dealt pretty heavily with racism and prejudices in a rural Southern town, which I can appreciate as someone who grew up in a similar town.

Anti-Bonus Factor: Patty Chase Award for Awful Parenting

Can I make it rain Patty Chase Awards? Because there were a lot of awful parents in this book. Eden's father is pretty blatantly racist and even tells her she can't date Ash because he doesn't want "brown babies". He also refuses to help her get a college scholarship because he'd prefer she stay home and continue to work and help him pay the bills, even though he's not exactly jumping at the opportunity to make money himself. Eden's mother isn't in the book save for memories and flashbacks, but those were enough for me to know that she wasn't any better. Ash's parents are both rich doctors who are pushing for him to go to an Ivy League school, but were equally prejudiced toward Eden, assuming that she was just a slutty, trailer trash girl trying to corrupt their son.

Casting Call:

Nicola Peltz as Eden

Avan Jogia as Ash

Relationship Status: Study Buddies

Book, if you and I were paired up to work together on a school project, I think we'd get along just fine. You were a quick, efficient read that covered a handful of important topics. And when the project's over, we'll shake hands, turn in our work, and amiably go our separate ways knowing it was fun while it lasted.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received a review copy from St. Martin's Press, but I did not receive money or Girl Scout cookies of any kind (not even the lame cranberry ones) for writing this review. The Possibility of Somewhere is available now.

Rosemary Hallmark's photo About the Author: Rosemary lives in Little Rock, AR with her cute husband and even cuter dog. At 16, she plucked a copy of Sloppy Firsts off the "New Releases" shelf and hasn't stopped reading YA since. (She's still got a soft spot for the swoony, contemporary stuff.) A former magazine editor, she is now a freelance writer, graphic designer, art director and photo stylist. The rest of her time is spent drinking cocktails, renovating her house and laughing at her husband's ridiculous Pretty Little Liars theories.
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